Good Morning, Mishima
I write this from the floor of my new apartment in Mishima, Japan. If I were to go up just one flight of stairs, I would have a beautiful, clear view of Mt. Fuji. A short walk could bring me to a karaoke bar, a 100 yen shop, or a machine that cleans your rice for you, standing by itself alongside the road. My pantry currently consists of a mix of American and Japanese foods (Poptarts vs. dried seaweed). A laugh track plays on my television, followed by an exaggerated “Ehhhh?!” This is my daily life for the next semester.
Getting here was not easy. While Victoria Gearhart at the study abroad office is amazingly helpful, there are still pages and pages of paperwork and thousands of dollars that you must invest in your study abroad experience before you can go. Then, the issues that come with physically getting here- getting my visa, obtaining an elusive 3rd boarding pass, accidentally getting on the wrong plane (yes, I actually did that), and losing my laptop in the San Francisco airport- only to have it miraculously found and shipped to my mother, then to me- the sore muscles from so much walking, the language barrier, the creepy men who follow foreign women begging us to add them on Facebook- yes, there are many difficult aspects of study abroad, and those are just a few among many that I have encountered since arriving here a little over 3 weeks ago.
But is it worth it? Well, I hope it will be! It certainly feels like it is when I’m taking pictures with my new friends in a purikura machine, or riding Splash Mountain in Tokyo Disneyland, or anticipating my good friend’s Osaka wedding, or eating delicious green tea flavored Kitkat bars. Though I miss my partner, my cats, and my life in the U.S., I am determined to have an amazing experience in Japan- and so far, I am.